Exposé Online banner

Verdaguer — Humahuaca
(Record Runner RR-0060-2, 1994, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-03-01

Humahuaca Cover artWith the recent reissues of the Mia catalog, Aquelarre, Crucis, and others, it seems that a lot of the best Argentinean music from the 70s is coming to light. Willy Verdaguer, while Argentinean by birth, spent most of those years working in Brazil with his group Humahuaca. While most of the music here was written and performed between '76 and '79, it was all re-recorded in '93, and released last year. The music here is a flavorful jazz-rock, injected with symphonics and spiced with rhythmic and flamenco influences, actually not far from the likes of Crucis, but with a bit more local color and unbridled jazz energy. Other points of comparison might be mid-period Kraan or early Transit Express, given the overt penchant for funkiness (as in "Galho de Arruda" or "Jogo da Memoria") and melodic savvy (as with the slower "Montanhas"), maybe even a touch of Banda Elastika. The seven-piece lineup features Verdaguer on bass, plus guitars, drums, keyboards, sax, flute, and percussion. Most of the nine tracks are instrumentals in the five-to-seven minute range, high energy jammers with plenty of sax and flute soloing. The compositions include plenty of hairpin turns and brilliant melodic mood shifts. Three tracks that don't seem to belong: the title track and a bluesy number "Rara Vez" that closes the disc, both vocal tunes sung by guest vocalist and producer Billy Bond, and "Pulomelu," an eleven minute instrumental suite that reminds me more of the Brazilian band Quantum on their self-titled debut than anything else on this album — yet it was that track that caught my ear on the first listen, while the others took an additional play or two to discover. In all, though, this one's a winner, heartily recommended for all fans of high-energy jazz-rock music.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 6, 1994 releases

Related artist(s): Willy Verdaguer

Latest news

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Rousseau - Square the Circle – This is the third album by this German six-piece, probably better known for their first album Flower in Asphalt, with which they developed a reputation of being essentially a decent Camel clone. Over...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues